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Hochul to keep mask mandate in place despite GOP criticism

Republicans in the New York state Assembly sent a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday, February 2 urging her to lift the state’s indoor mask mandate and leave future pandemic-related decisions in the hand of local government. Hochul says she’ll keep the mandate in place.

GOP members of the state Assembly are not the only ones calling for an end to the indoor mask mandate. A Nassau County judge overruled the mandate in January, then a state appellate court granted a stay for the mandate, according to NY State of Politics.

Republicans have been critical of the rule, especially mask requirements in schools.

“If she truly respected the role of the Legislature, she wouldn’t try to preserve this unlawful mandate,” tweeted GOP state Assemblyman Christopher Tague.

Hochul, on the other hand, believes the mask mandate is vital to prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially given the spike in cases of the Omicron variant.

“We’re in a much better place, but we have to decide what that looks like,” said Hochul on Tuesday, February 1 during an event in the Bronx. “We’re not prepared to throw in the towel and say we’re done fighting COVID.”